Homeschooling On A Budget

Homeschooling On a Budget? It is possible? I think so! Today, I want to share a few tips that we’ve learned along the way.

This post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support and consideration!

We knew long before we had kids that we hoped to homeschool-we even talked about it on our first date! Homeschooling for us is a lifestyle. It allows us to spend quality time together, experience new things as a family and cater learning styles better suited for each of our children.

However, when it came time to start preparing for preschool and then kindergarten, I was shocked at how quickly the cost of curriculum and school supplies can add up! I’ve spent a lot of time planning and researching ways to save. So, here are my top five tips!

Tips For Homeschooling On A Budget

How to Save on Curriculum: I would recommend shopping through online Homeschool Swap sites or consignment sales. Many times, families will buy curriculum only to realize it will not work for them and sell it practically new at a discount. Ebay is another great resource for this!

Bonus Tip: If you shop at Mardel’s don’t forget they have huge sales right before school starts and almost always, their homeschool curriculum is 20% off. They have a huge selection, too. Another tip is to sign up for the curriculum that you love most and opt in to receive sales updates!

How to Save on Games, Manipulative’s, etc: I tend to buy almost all of our learning resources second hand. Yard Sales, Consignment Sales or Clearance Deals have helped tremendously. I will also scour Amazon to see who offers the best prices on something that we really want!

Free Printables: There are also tons of great web sites that offer free printables to help supplement your school curriculum. One of our favorite resources is Twistynoodle.com!

How To Save On Classroom Supplies: We have a small schoolroom for the girls and I really wanted to decorate it to be a calming and fun place for them to learn. I utilized using coupons at a few of my favorite craft stores to buy posters, organizers, decor, etc. Again, the Dollar Tree is a great resource as well as Target’s One Dollar Shop. Even Wal-Mart has some great resources for office supplies and craft supplies!

Free Curriculum: There are also tons of free online curriculums out there. Do a quick search online or better yet, use Swagbucks to rack up gift cards or cash to go towards your homeschooling needs (hint: It’s free to join!). Also, an online homeschool curriculum that I love is Amblesideonline.org

I hope these tips will help you save money on all your homeschooling needs! Do you have any tips to share? I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Did you find these tips helpful? Pin this pin to share the love! 🙂

Keto Starbucks Drinks (THM Friendly)

Ah, Starbucks keto drinks. I’ve already waxed poetic about simple ways to save money on coffee over on this post. But, today, I wanted to share my favorite healthier options! They have been saving me from drinking sugary laden drinks for a while. I’m not a health expert, just sharing what works for me and posting for educational purposes only.

Honestly, there are dozens of choices for anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth that’s on plan for both Keto AND THM!

Keto Starbucks Drinks (and THM friendly, too!)

Iced Cold Brew: I simply order Grande Iced Cold Brew with Creme, an unsweetened flavor shot or two of Vanilla, and then ask for stevia. You can request light stevia or heavy stevia. I prefer mine light as stevia is SO much sweeter than sugar!

Iced Coffee: Order iced coffee with half and half or heavy cream. Again, you can substitute stevia as your choice of sweetner. If you are not THM, you can also ask for sugar-free options.

Iced Matcha Latte: Order a Venti Iced Matcha Tea with only ONE scoop of matcha. Substitute almond milk and add four pumps of sugar free vanilla. If you are THM: ask for 4 pumps vanilla sweetened with stevia.

Iced Passion Tea: Order a Venti Iced Passion Tea sweetened with Stevia.

Are you a fan of healthier Starbucks drinks? Which ones have you tried? I go crazy over the Matcha drink. It’s so refreshing! Also, almost all of these drinks could be made at home. Simple keto recipes are where it’s at.

Twitter Hashtags To Help You Increase Blog Traffic

I love using Twitter hashtags! It is one of the easiest ways to gain extra eyes on your account which can ultimately lead to more traffic. I’ve discussed my love for Twitter and how to use it to it’s full advantage here. Today, however, I’m sharing 10 hashtags to add to your tweets when your mind goes blank!

Try Using Multiple Hashtags Per Tweet

Everyone has there own strategy on how many Twitter hashtags to add to their tweets. Personally, I like to add anywhere from 2 to 3 different hashtags. On a rare occasion, if I know a topic is popular, I will shoot for up to 5 hashtags.

Monitor your tweets and see how many hashtags seem to be popular in your niche. There is no magic number, so it’s important to see what works for you! You mind find that simply adding one is your best method while others may need two or more!

Try Using Trending Tweets Mixed With Niche Words

Before I get to the trending hashtag list, remember to add at least one or two niche words related to your topic. Let’s say you are going to tweet about your favorite family vacation. Add a niche relevant to that topic along with a trending hashtag! Example: My Favorite Vacation Memories “your direct blog link here” #travel #traveltuesday

10 Hashtags To Use To Gain a Wider Audience

  1. #MondayThoughts
  2. #MondayMorning
  3. #TuesdayVibes
  4. #WednesdayMotivation
  5. #ThursdayVibes
  6. #Friday
  7. #SaturdayThoughts
  8. #SundayFunday
  9. #WeekendWisdom
  10. #blogging

Another Tip: On the right side of your Twitter Landing page is a list of “current” trending topics. Always double check to see if any of them will line up with the topic you are tweeting about!

Do you have a favorite hashtag to use on Twitter? As I learn more hashtags for Twitter, I will be sharing them here!

How To Get Free Starbucks Frugal Hack

I love coffee. I love free coffee even better! There are so many ways to earn free gift cards now days that you can use to help you save money with this easy frugal living hack for free coffee!

Dislaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support and consideration!

How To Get Free Gift Cards

One of the easiest ways to earn free Starbucks gift cards online is through Swagbucks! They are a well known survey site that allows you to rack up points for gift cards or cash. You can also earn points through using their search menu (instead of Google). They offer points for many other actions that you can choose to take on their site.

It’s free to join, easy to use, and such a simply way to earn free coffee! I’ve used Swagbucks for year and have loved earning free rewards!

Join The Starbucks Reward Program

You can also choose to join the Starbucks Reward Program! I’ve been a member for over ten years and it’s a great way to earn free coffee! Basically, you earn points with your coffee purchases that allows you to eventually earn free coffee and even food! Also, last time I checked, when you join the reward program, you get a free drink on your birthday!

Watch For Starbucks Happy Hour

If you download the Starbucks app, they will occasionally offer what they call a happy hour where you buy one get one free. Perfect for dates!

In my opinion, frugal living doesn’t have to be boring! You can still save and enjoy the smaller things in life!

Note: I am NOT affiliated with Starbucks in any way. Just a happy coffee drinker sharing my tips along the way. 😉

Work From Home: Money Making Ideas For Teens

This post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support and consideration!

Teens love having extra money for the weekends! It’s a good idea to help them find work from home jobs. Today, I’m sharing a few simple ideas for teens to work from home and make money online.

Sell Unwanted Items at Consignment Sales

This is such a fantastic way for teens to make money on unwanted items. Most consignment sales allow for youth items which often includes: backpacks, sports equipment, clothes, shoes, movies, etc.

You simply clean up your items, enter them into the consignment data base and then price the items according to the sales guidelines.

Simple do a quick search online to find the best consignment sales in your area! The earning potential here is pretty great.

Make Money With a Blog

Blogging is for anyone including teens. With parental supervision, your teen could learn the basics of starting a blog, search engine optimization and more. Not only is this in incredible learning opportunity, but it would look amazing on their transcript.

Personally, I love this option, because it allows them to from work anywhere! You can read my step by step guide here!

Make Money Using Swagbucks

Teens can make money using Swagbucks. It’s one of the quickest ways to earn free gift cards and so much more. You can earn money when researching school projects, playing games and answer easy surveys.

Honestly, it’s just a great way to make money for anyone! You can use my link here to sign up and it’s FREE!

Declutter Your Home With These Simple Tips

I love when my house is cleaned and organized-but let’s face it, there are days (and weeks) when my house it out of control! That’s just life and I am learning to embrace it. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t have a simple strategy to keep our home streamlined and running smoothly!

Today, I am sharing two strategies to help you declutter your home!

Tackle Your Main Living Areas: Do you ever feel stressed out when you sit down to rest? I’ve noticed that when our main living areas are clean, I am able to rest and relax much easier.

Try to speed clean your living areas at least once or twice a day. It’s also a good idea to get rid of items that you no longer use in this area. Simplify your living area until it feels cozy and relaxed! At the end of the day, I try to reset the room back to it’s original settings! Ha.

Tackle That “One” Area Each Week: We all have that one drawer or one room that gets extra messy. Try to tackle that area with a deep clean and sweep out each week. Donate items that are no longer of benefit to you and streamline where you can.

For us, it’s our schoolroom. So, crafts get tossed and books are donated when they are no longer serving a purpose. I love going to the dollar tree to get tubs to keep craft supplies at bay! I also invested in small two drawer hutch where I can keep workbooks, extra supplies, etc.

Bonus Tip: Keep a running list of daily cleaning tasks that you want to accomplish throughout your house. I have a zone to tackle each day. It helps me when I’ feeling overwhelmed!

What areas of your home to you try to tackle on a regular basis? I’d love to hear your favorite decluttering tips!

Pinterest Marketing Strategies For Growth

This post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support and consideration!

For the last few months, I have been reading everything I can find on the topic of Pinterest Marketing Strategies.

My main goal has been to find ways to increase Pinterest traffic and blog traffic!

So, I decided to invest in two paid courses and a few free courses to get a jump start. I’m going to share five tips that have made my numbers double and triple in some areas!

Tip One: Take Pinteresting Strategies

The course where I saw a HUGE increase in traffic was Pinteresting Strategies by Carly!

A few stats since taking Pinteresting Strategies:

  • My Pinterest Views have tripled.
  • My Pinterest Clicks and Saves have doubled.
  • My blog traffic has skyrocketed from less than 1K to nearly 5K most of which came from Pinterest!

I downloaded Pinteresting Strategies and completed the course over the span of two days.

After reading through the first few lessons, I decided to put her tips into practice.

Within a few hours, one new pin had over 1,000 views. Typically, getting that many views would take over a week for me. That is how powerful and amazing her tips are!

The best part? Her strategies are simple, straight forward and SO EASY TO UNDERSTAND. Many times when reading about Pinterest Marketing, I felt like I was reading a different language. Can anyone else relate?

Of course, I would love for you to grab a copy of Pinteresting Strategies through my link. I’m confident that you will LOVE it!

Tip 2: Make Sure You Have Claimed Your Website on Pinterest

Confession time. I waited much to long to tackle this step. However, as soon as I claimed my website, my numbers did another incredible boost. I gained over 5,000 views by doing this.

If you don’t know how to claim your website on Pinterest, check out my article on How To Claim Your WordPress Website on Pinterest in 5 Easy steps.

Tip 3: Use Group Boards!

I feel like this step gets overlooked or gets a bad rap. However, since I’m sharing what has worked for me I have to include this. Group boards have been a huge boost to my Pinterest traffic.

Note: I utilize both keyword specific group boards and general group boards. However, I always pin to keyword specific group boards first and then pin to general group boards. This method seems to work great for me!

Tip 4: Use Simple Design

I find that the more simple my pins are, the more traction they get. I really think this is because 9 times out of 10 our pins are only viewed for a second or two before users scroll on by. You want your pin to stand out from the crowd. Think simple designs, bright colors and lighter backgrounds.

Tip 5: Try New Keywords

I think it’s important to have specific keywords that you are regularly pinning for, however, always try new keywords that pertain to your topic. This will help give your followers new insight and allow you to expand your reach.

Want more Pinterest Marketing Strategies and tips? Be sure to grab two of my favorite Pinterest Hacks!

Happy Pinning!

How to Claim Your WordPress Site on Pinterest

Today, I’m sharing a simple step by step tutorial on how to claim your web site on Pinterest!

It took me a couple of tries before I got it right. The easiest method is by using the Yoast Plug In! If you don’t have it, find it and add it! It’s a great resource for bloggers who want to make money online.

Five Steps To Claim Your Website On Pinterest

  1. Log into your Pinterest Account. You will need to make sure you are using a Business Account (personal will not work for this). Having a business account has many benefits which include claiming your web site and being able to use rich pins. It helps with Pinterest SEO!
  2. Once you have a business Pinterest Page, go to your settings (the three little dots at the top of the page) and then click on edit settings.
  3. On the menu (left side) click on claim web site. Pinterest has a step by step action at this point. Follow directions and copy the HTML Tag option. Don’t click save, yet!
  4. Open another browser and go to your WordPress dash board. Click on the Y SEO >SOCIAL Link. Double check your Facebook tab and make sure the open graph settings are turned on. Then, click on the Pinterest tab in the box labeled Pinterest Confirmation, paste the confirmation code that you copied earlier from Pinterest. Click Save.
  5. Now you can click Save on the Pinterst claim web site menu. Pinterest will e-mail you confirmation once your web site has been officially claimed.

You should be set! Be sure to check out my other Pinterest Marketing Strategies here!

How to Get Free Money Easy and Fast

This page contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support and consideration!

I remember the first time I ran across an article online that talked about free money.

I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes, but curiosity got the best of me and of course I clicked on the article.

By the end of the article, I had followed her steps and at the end of the day had a check on its way to my mail box.

Did you know tons of people have money literally just sitting around waiting for them to claim it?

Find Free Money

You can go to your local state government web site to see if you have money owed to you by companies. Most people get busy with life and forget they have money owed to them or don’t even know about it because they moved and the companies cannot find them.

It really does happen all the time and it’s worth checking out on a regular basis.

Another fantastic way to find free money is by simply shopping for items you already need online using a program like Rakuten! You simply sign up, shop like you always do and earn a percentage back from your purchases.

Could it be any easier? I don’t think so.

Make Money Shopping

For example, I did my grocery shopping online using Rakuten and earn a percentage back! Honestly, it’s almost too easy!

Another way I love to find free money online is utilizing free search engines and sharing my opinion through sites like Swagbucks. It is the easiest and most enjoyable free survey site that isn’t full of gimmicks. To date, I’ve earned gift cards for coffee, gas and even Amazon!

Honestly, I love sharing with others how to make money online or how to earn extra income by flipping items.

Who doesn’t want a hobby that makes money?

10 Clever Ways to Save Money

Learning to save money is important for everyone! Today, we’ve got a few simple tips for saving money on your every day bills.

#1 Shop Around For New Insurance

It happens to everyone-you get your Insurance bill in the mail and once it again it has gone up in price. You can call and ask for a price adjustment or call different insurance companies. Tell them what you are hoping to save and many companies will work with you to crunch numbers. Last year, I saved us an extra $45 a month just by asking around for better rates.

#2 Consider Using A Gas Card or Gas App

When it comes to paying for gas, it can really cause havoc on your monthly budget. Consider getting a gas car to local grocery stores to save money or download an app that give you the best local gas prices.

#3 Learn To Shop Second Hand

I know, it’s fun to go to the store and buy new items. But, what if you could find the same item nearly new for half the cost? I love to use online yard sales and consignment sales to find items on my wish list at a fraction of the cost.

#4 Consider Using Store Apps For Savings

Most stores these days offer apps for your phone. When you download the app they will often give you discounts or coupon codes that can be used for future purchases. I was able to save an extra $4 by using my favorite store app on a random purchase that I needed to make.

$5 Shop Online When You Can

By shopping online for your basic house supplies you are lowering your risk of buying items that you don’t need. This also allows you to do a simple shop and comparison on prices.

#6 Consider Switching Your Phone and Network providers

Have you checked on your phone bill lately? Is there another network available? Checking up on your phone bills on a regular basis is always helpful and can save you money.

#7 Always Double Check Receipts

This step is so important. There have been many instances when an item is being displayed at a discount price only to ring up for full price (and even higher). I will often check prices as they are scanning and request customer service management to help out if the price is ringing up differently.

#8 Utilize Dollar Stores

There are so many random good deals located at the local dollar store. Cleaning supplies, craft supplies, organizational items, canned goods, etc. Every dollar saved is a dollar earned!

#9 Buy Bulk When You Can

I love buying bulk when I can. Paper products and meats are typically my go to items as they ring up much lower than a regular purchase.

#10 Find Cost Effective Meal Plans

Do you use meal planning? The amount of money that we save when I faithfully utilize meal planning is one of my favorite ways to save money. Learn to rotate meals around meat is on sale and around produce that is in season to save money.